Tips for managing schoolies, overcrowding and wild party houses this summer
Many Australian property owners are well versed in dealing with and planning for property damage when it comes to bush fires, sweltering heat and water restrictions during the summer season. There’s another “disaster” out there that property owners are leaving themselves exposed to every year – wild party houses.
Since the introduction of accommodation providers like Airbnb and HomeAway, Australian strata properties have been a target for guests looking to party, wreaking havoc in short term rentals across the nation.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Australian party house season peaks with schoolies week.
A graduation rite-of-passage for many Australian students, schoolies week celebrations have claimed infamy for their association with property damage.
To reduce the risk of damage, we’re encouraging property owners to be proactive across four key areas:
Get your house rules right
Enforcing and communicating your building by-laws during the peak holiday period is a must. We recommend this is done as early as possible to ensure upcoming guests have ample time to review the guidelines with parents and fellow schoolies.
The kinds of sections to focus on should ideally include noise restriction times, guest visiting hours, apartment and balcony overcrowding, the use of glass in pool areas and the cost of fixing damages to assets. Ensuring guests within your community understand the rules and importantly their relevant consequences will go a long way.
Improve your security measures
With the promise of tens, hundreds or even thousands of guests coming and going from your property in the schoolies and holiday period, security must also be a high priority for communities bracing for high short stay activity.
And we don’t just mean having building and entry security. The securing of rooftops and if necessary, balconies is also a major concern with ‘daredevil’ behaviour captured in recent years thanks to viral roof topping and planking challenges. Having the means to secure your building’s entry and exit alongside its high risk will help strata owners sleep a lot better.
Keep your common property in good repair
Think the risk of property damage only extends to private property? Think again. Have a maintenance review of common property areas like pools, barbecue areas and elevators are essential. In the past few years, emergency services have seen a rise in the overloading of lifts and resulting entrapments within schoolies accommodation. It is important to remember that during schoolies, lifts will be under more stress and demand than usual and there is the real risk that there will be a lot of people in a lift at any one time. Instituting clear rules for the use of common property like this will prove crucial in reducing your risk profile.
Enforce a zero-tolerance policy on misbehaviour
Finally, after all this preparation it’s vital that strata communities enforce a strong stance when it comes to rule breaking. The rules you’ve created exist to protect you and your community members and so we’re encouraging you to enforce a zero-tolerance policy.
Overcrowding a balcony? Take action. Bringing guests in after hours? Take action.